Meet Our Staff
Favorite WS Spot:
"I love to take late night walks to Lincoln Center and read by the fountain."
Amy Alexander, Children's Ministry Program and Volunteer CoordinatorAmy Alexander grew up around her extended family on her grandfather's North Carolina farm. She's been in NYC working at Redeemer since 2008, but says, "My already not so subtle southern accent subconsciously turns quite 'country' when I call my family." She had planned to work in international relations until, during graduate school, she realized God was calling her into ministry. Now Amy recruits, trains and screens volunteers for our Children's Ministry. She also plans events for families and volunteers. "I enjoy developing leaders by helping them discover more about themselves and their gifts," says Amy. "On Sundays I love to see our volunteers conveying the gospel and the children truly understanding it."
Amy challenges herself with running—she just did the NYC Half Marathon! She loves writing her blog, "Southern in the City," and hosting BBQ's, teas and brunches with her roommates. Amy says, "My hope is to continue to live a life that's oriented towards deep relationships, where those around me are being cultivated into people who are not afraid to share not only their strengths with one another but also their failures." Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun David fact:
David took seven years of classical trombone and five years of classical piano lessons. He also sang a solo in the earliest days of Redeemer, long before YouTube!
David Bisgrove, Lead PastorDavid Bisgrove grew up in NJ and moved to NYC for graduate school in 1986. He started attending Redeemer in 1989 and became a founding elder and trustee. David and his wife, Alice, met at a Community Group Sunday Brunch through mutual friends. They now live on the UWS with their daughters, Mary Claire and Charlotte.
David has a MBA and Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and
previously worked in healthcare finance and administration. He began working
at Redeemer as Director of Finance and Operations in 1998, while also pursuing
his M.Div from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 2005 as an
Assistant Pastor who oversaw Worship and Evangelism, Counseling, Stewardship,
and Family Ministries. Now, as Lead Pastor of the WS Congregation, David loves
standing at the door on Sundays talking to people on their way in and out of
worship. He's a big fan of golf (when he can make it out of the city) and of going on
family bike rides to Pier I along the Hudson. And you might also find him at Joe's
Coffee or MUD Coffee on Columbus Ave.
Favorite WS Spot:
"Fort Tryon Park, a little slice of heaven on the northwestern edge of Manhattan, surrounding the Cloisters, overlooking the Hudson River and blocks from the highest point on our island."
Pamela Brown-Peterside, Community Group DirectorPamela Brown-Peterside grew up in Jos, Nigeria and lived in the Midwest (U.S.) and then London before coming to NYC in 1990. She has a background in public health and previously worked in HIV/AIDS prevention among women, first in the South Bronx for 9 years and then in rural Uganda for 2.
Pamela has attended Redeemer since 1998 and came on staff in 2008. She now oversees
our Community Groups and spends much of her days meeting with leaders and hearing
about their lives and groups. She supports and prays for CG leaders, coaching them on
how to deal with the challenging and messy parts of life in community. She's all for
discussing real life in the city: "Knowing that the pace and intensity of life in NYC can
burn anybody out—it burned me out 7 years ago—I'm always eager to think and talk and
strategize about how to enjoy this great city while living in a healthy rhythm of rest, work
Favorite WS Foods:
"My favorite food on the UWS right now is the candied pork belly slider at a place called Say Cheese, just two doors down from the W83 building. The pork bun at Momofuku Milk is also good, but the bun was a bit disappointing. I am also not ashamed to admit that I love the McRib at McDonalds."
Abe Cho, Assistant PastorAbe Cho grew up all over the country, living in Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia and Connecticut. He has his M.Div and Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was previously the Youth Pastor at First Korean Presbyterian in Hartford, CT and the Director of University Ministries at Citylife Presbyterian in Boston. He is currently a D.Min. candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jordyn, have been in NYC since 2007 and have three young children, Lydia, Ezra, and Micah.
As Assistant Pastor, Abe's role includes pastoral care and counseling, leadership
development, overseeing the Community Group staff, helping shape overall strategy and
vision, leading services, and preaching and teaching. Outside of work, you can find him
reading, playing volleyball with his wife, or going on "Scooter Adventures" in Riverside
Park with his kids. If you really want to stump him, ask him if he's right-handed, left-
handed or ambidextrous (he actually doesn't know).
Fun Susana Fact:
"Our fun family pastimes include telling people that our goldendoodle, who looks like a large goofy sheep, is an 'albino Rottweiler with a perm.' We get asked, 'What breed is your dog?' all the time and it gets tiresome!"
Susana Gough, Ministry ManagerSusana Gough is a true New Yorker—she was born and raised in Chinatown by first generation, working class immigrants. She grew up non-Christian and accepted the Lord during her last semester of high school. Susana lives in Hell's Kitchen with her husband, Jonathan, their son, Timmy, and their dog, a goldendoodle named Surely Goodness and Mercy ("Surely" for short). She enjoys cooking for others, grocery shopping in foreign countries, checking out free summer events in NYC, and taking long, eight-mile walks through the city.
Susana's degree is in Cognitive Psychology and she previously worked for Herald
Youth Center. She's attended Redeemer since 2003 and came on staff in 2005. Now,
as our West Side Ministry Coordinator, she aids our staff, lay leaders and elders
by providing administrative support and managing plans for communications,
community groups, membership and special projects. "I mind the nitty-gritties
so that the vision and ideas of our staff and lay leaders can come to fruition and
flourish," says Susana.
Favorite WS Spot:
"The pier at 70th street is my favorite place to read and hang out. I grew up on the water so being near the river always brings peace to my soul in the midst of living life in a very large city."
Bethany Griffith, Children's Ministry DirectorBethany Griffith grew up in Alabama near the Gulf Coast. Even as a teenager, Bethany had a heart for NYC. So she was particularly excited when she got the opportunity to move here in 2008, coming to work for Redeemer Children's Ministry. "That was a season of my life where I really walked in faith and saw the Lord lead the way," says Bethany.
Bethany's degree is in Early Childhood Education. After working for four years within our Children's Ministry, she became our Children's Ministry Director in 2013. "It is my desire that every time children enter the doors of Redeemer, they would experience deep community, gain a greater understanding of the gospel of Christ and of their personal need for a Savior, and have fun!" Outside of work, you can find Bethany hanging out with friends, playing tennis, wandering the neighborhood with her camera, or volunteering with Hope for New York.
Fun Omari Fact:
"One of my favorite summer jobs was as an intern for The Bronx Zoo back in 1993. I mean, when you put wild animals, kids and over-zealous young adults into one area, something beautifully regretful is bound to happen. "
Omari Hill, Community Group Director and Assistant PastorOmari Hill grew up in the Bronx, but moved to Dallas, TX in 1999 and then to Charlotte, NC. He previously worked in retail and information technology. After getting his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary, he served as ruling elder with Christ Central Church, and then as Campus Pastor of Reformed University Fellowship at UNC-Charlotte. Omari and his wife, Cherise, enjoy watching reality shows and eating out with friends. They strive to create environments where their two children, Mia Simone and Preston Harvey, can engage with others in imaginative play. Omari loves his PlayStation, good lectures and books.
Omari came back to NYC to join our staff in July of 2012. He shepherds our
Community Groups and their leaders, fostering group and lay leadership growth. "I
believe that building community is at the heart of God's mission because it
flows from his revealed identity," says Omari. "I long to help others practice the
hospitality of God because it is the reversal of man's exile from the Garden."
Favorite WS Spots:
You can often find Tom at the basketball courts along 76th street in Riverside Park. He loves eating at La Boite en Bois and at Big Nick's. And he's a big fan of biking on the Greenway.
Tom Jennings, Music DirectorTom Jennings is originally from Roanoke, VA, but has been in NYC since 1989, living in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and now the Upper West Side. He and his wife, Michelle, were married in 1988 and have two children, Daniel and Leah.
Tom has been attending Redeemer since 1990 and came on staff in 1995. He has a
doctorate in music in classical piano from Manhattan School of Music and has taught
at Concordia College and Brooklyn Conservatory. Now as the Music Director, Tom
plans the four weekly West Side worship services. He also works in community building
and mercy ministry alongside professional musicians and conservatory students. Tom
says, "One of the most rewarding aspects of being a music director at Redeemer is
spending time around the city with other Christian musicians—attending their recitals
and concerts or just hanging out, as we try to encourage one another in our faith."
Fun Phoebe Fact:
She's a singer/songwriter under the name Phoebe Lyng. You can find her music on iTunes and the Redeemer Forum for Singer-Songwriters CD for HFNY, In the City.
Phoebe Kmeck, Events and Volunteers ManagerPhoebe Kmeck was born and raised on the UWS, but spent her childhood on and off the road, following the whims of her parents' acting careers. She started coming to Redeemer when she was 12 and accepted Christ on a Youth Group ski trip. Phoebe joined Redeemer staff in 2004, and now oversees our West Side Sunday Service Ministries leaders and volunteers—including the Ushers, Welcome Center Greeters, and Information Center, Book Table and Communion Teams. Phoebe says, "It's an honor to work alongside the volunteers and witness Jesus revealing himself in their actions and servant hearts."
Phoebe's transient upbringing resembled her hot and cold relationship with
God. "Regardless of my inconsistent faith," says Phoebe, "God showed me through
his provision of community at Redeemer that he is my life's only anchor and the
only semblance of stability I can trust in this ever-changing world and city."
Favorite Spot in W83:
"Sub-cellar storage room, when I've run down there to check something during service and can still hear the amazing worship music. It reminds me that EVERY inch of this building is our great God's house!"
Tiffany Koch, Ministry DirectorTiffany has lived in NYC since 2001, always on the West Side. She went to Duke University for undergrad and her MBA, and she sports a Mike Krzyzewski bobblehead on her desk: "Duke won NCAA national championships both times I was in school. Coincidence? You tell me." She previously worked in fundraising, new market and product development, and social enterprise.
Tiffany first attended Redeemer in 2003. It was then that she says, "I began to understand that broken people getting things wrong wasn't proof of the absence of God or the hollowness of his promises, but instead was proof of how much we need him and how much he loves us." As Ministry Director, she helps David manage the West Side budget and goals, and supports the staff and lay leaders as they develop programs to bring shalom within our congregation and neighborhood. Day to day, she can be found talking with congregants, powwowing with John Hickey (Building Manager for the W83 Ministry Center), and attending community board association meetings.
Favorite WS Spot:
"Good Enough To Eat to get the southern comfort food fix—their country bacon might be outlawed by Bloomberg next, and they have the best scones."
Jordan Tanksley, Community Group InternJordan Tanksley moved to NYC in 2006, living first in Harlem and then on the UWS. Though she grew up in Connecticut, her family has Southern roots—her Dad was from the South but fell in love with New England while stationed at a Navy base in CT. Jordan attended Harding University in Arkansas where she majored in Business Management and minored in Fine Art and World Religion.
Jordan joined our staff as a WS Community Group Intern in July 2012. She assists in the maintenance and growth of Christian community through our WS congregation. "I love praying at work," says Jordan. "God is a constant priority at the Redeemer office and I feel my own prayer life being strengthened because of the examples I see at work." Jordan is also an oil painter, photographer and tap dancer. She grew up singing and loves to sing old hymns and harmonize with her sister. Fun facts? "I can whistle Mozart's Requiem," says Jordan. "When alone, I'm usually whistling."
Fun Will Fact:
"I am a coffee snob. Somehow Starbucks is no longer good enough for me."
Will Tant, Community Group InternOriginally from a small beach town in North Florida, Will Tant traveled the world as a professional surfer for 15 years. He moved to Harlem in 2007 and is now a student at Columbia University. Will began attending Redeemer shortly after moving to the city and became a Christian within a Redeemer Community Group. "Within this group, I began to understand the difference between the Gospel and religion," says Will. "Seeing how God has reshaped me and my friends within community is unbelievable. It is a true testament to a power that is mightier than this world and grounded in love and self-sacrifice."
With this kind of history with Community Groups, it's fitting that Will joined our staff as a Community Group Intern in July 2012. He now assists our Community Group Leaders, making sure they receive the needed support and resources. "Everyday I have the opportunity to see and hear about lives that have been changed by the Gospel," he says. Will can often be found having a burger and milkshake at Shake Shack or grabbing a cookie at Momofuko Milk Bar. He enjoys swimming and still surfs at least once a week.
Fun Lana Fact:
"I seriously cannot stand cotton balls."
Lana Waites, Children's Ministry Communications CoordinatorLana Waites was born and raised in Alabama. After graduating from Auburn University, she travelled for 11 months, doing missions in 11 different countries with a program called the World Race. She then worked for Big Idea (the makers of VeggieTales) in Nashville, TN, before moving to NYC. Lana's an avid baker: "My favorite place of solitude is in an apron, kneading some dough, with the music turned up," she says. "If I'm baking, I'm happy." And going to see live music is her favorite past time.
Lana came to NYC in November 2012 and joined our staff as the Database and Communications Coordinator for WS Children's Ministry. "If you receive an email from the WS Children's Ministry, yours truly sent it," says Lana. "I'm bringing my mad organizational and admin. skills to the office, and I jump on board to help wherever needed." She's also mastering our database system for our Children's Ministry check-in process. Lana enjoys working alongside our other staff and volunteers: "The group of people I get to work alongside make it so fun to come into the office."